Freeze Frames. A weekly update of film releases
EL AMOR BRUJO - ``Love, the Magician'' is the English-language title of this musical melodrama, which uses both dance and dialogue to tell its steamy story of romance, jealousy, and death among the Andalusian gypsies. This completes a trilogy of dance movies by Spanish filmmaker Carlos Saura, who directed ``Blood Wedding'' in 1981 and ``Carmen'' two years later. Antonio Gades did the choreography and plays a leading role. The music is taken from Manuel de Falla's work, climaxing with the inevitable ``Ritual Fire Dance.'' (Rated PG) BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS - Neil Simon's autobiographical play, about growing up absurd in Brooklyn, was diverting on the Broadway stage but seems drab on the wide screen. Although a few scenes are comically or sentimentally effective, director Gene Saks never gives the story any momentum or the images any flair. And enough with the puberty jokes, already! (Rated PG-13) THE MORNING AFTER - After a night of drinking, an alcoholic wakes up in bed with a corpse, and fears she may have killed the man herself. Jane Fonda plays her role with great conviction, but the screenplay is so crude and the filmmaking so lumpy that she never has a chance. Neither does Jeff Bridges, as the ex-cop and ex-drunk who helps her, or the rest of the ill-used cast. Sidney Lumet, in a slump ever since ``The Verdict,'' directed. (Rated R) LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS - Musical comedy about, yes, a big and hungry houseplant that likes to gobble up humans. The first half is yucky but funny, in a tacky sort of way; the rest is repetitious. Based on a zany Roger Corman horror flick and a popular Off Broadway show of the same title, and featuring a lively music score in the high doo-wop style. Directed by master puppeteer Frank Oz. (Rated PG-13) MISS MARY - A proper English governess takes a position with an aristocratic Buenos Aires family, and their relationship mirrors the changes in Argentinian life and politics over a period of several years. A complex and thoughtful film, but low on energy. Directed by Mar'ia Luisa Bemberg, who wrote the screenplay with Jorge Goldenberg. (Rated R) NO MERCY - A cop from Chicago slogs through the swamps and saloons of Louisiana on the track of a psychopath who killed his partner. Grim going. Richard Pearce directed. (Rated R) STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME - If this keeps up, we'll have more Star Trek film sequels than original TV episodes. And that's fine if they're all as charming as this one. The crew members of the spaceship Enterprise time-travel to 1986 in search of some humpback whales, which they need to solve a 23rd-century crisis. Like interstellar cousins of `Crocodile' Dundee, they hilariously grope their way through today's San Francisco, finding each aspect of the '80s urban scene more inexplicable than the last. In comparison with a ``Star Wars'' or Indiana Jones hit, the visual humor is refreshingly gentle and the dialogue is witty, wistful, and even wise at times. Leonard Nimoy, who plays his perennial role of Spock with ease, also directed. (Rated PG) RATINGS: Films with ratings other than G may contain varying degrees of vulgar language, nudity, sex, and violence.